Announcement: Professor Jennifer Hamer to Serve as Department Chair


American studies at the University of Kansas offers an interdisciplinary department in which faculty and students think critically about the many institutional and cultural meanings of the United States in global context, particularly with regard to culture, society, and identity. Through studying topics such as film, jazz, literature, visual culture, gender, race and religion, American studies investigates the United States in the present and the past, beyond both disciplinary and national boundaries. Given our recognition of the critical impact of difference and power, we insist that a student's program of study consider the profound impact of diversity on society and address differential power structures.


  • Spring 2013 inaugural issue of Women, Gender, and Families of Color
    June 13, 2013 — The Spring 2013 inaugural issue of Women, Gender, and Families of Color has been released.  The issue is a collection of articles that primarily explore various elements of health for Latinas and African American women.
  • Abandoned in the Heartland
    August 30, 2011 — Jennifer F. Hamer received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin and is an Associate Professor in the African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her general area of study is the sociological study of families, especially those within the United States. Within this broad field, her primary research interests are African American fathers, mothers, and families, especially those that are urban, low-income and working class.
  • Writing Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru
    April 28, 2011 — In the spring of 2000, I took an anthropology course on culture and power in Latin America with Marisol de la Cadena, who writes on indigenousness in Peru.
  • Spotlight: Marisol Cortez
    February 24, 2011 — Last fall was my first semester as a visiting faculty member in the American Studies Department, so the past few months have been full of new and exciting challenges.
  • Graduate Research Assistantships Help Students Receive PhDs
    February 17, 2011 — In the Fall of 2010, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies worked with the American Studies Department to launch a project aimed at improving graduate student's time-to-degree.
  • New Cities and Boomer Futures
    February 1, 2011 — In conjunction with courses in architecture and civic leadership, this studio-based colloquium, led by Professors Dennis Domer and Cheryl Lester, brings together experts from the humanities, social

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American Studies Journal
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Another read on the use of media in the United States.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times